Whole Foods Market

Your Rating: None
18 Ratings

Type: Store

1451 First Street
Sarasota, Florida, 34236
United States

(941) 955-8500 | map

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Added by Shaw on 04-11-2005

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by PorterLambic:
Photo of PorterLambic
4/5  rDev -2%

I like this place. Mostly I come to shop for the baby or to buy foodstuffs the regular markets don't sell but the beer is what brought me here first. The food is wonderful, the place is clean and bright without being blindingly so, the help is prevalant and friendly and knowledgeable. Lots of selection in areas the plain markets don't stock. Lots of organic & whole foods (duh).
The beer. Nice selection for the little space they give it. The wino's get at least 5 times the floor space. The beer is waaay in the back, in the corner, behind the wine and next to the dairy case.
They carry lots of Belgians and Belgian-style (Chimay, Troublette, Delirium, Unibroue, etc.), a decent selection of English (Fuller's, Young's, etc.) and larger American brews (Flying Dog, Abita, Sierra Nevada, etc.).
You'll find good stuff every time you go in, but not necessarily the specific brew you are after as they tend to change the selection around fairly regularly. They do stock a fair amount of seasonals thankfully.
Say hi to Tom, late of the Cock & Bull. :)

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Sweffin
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of wrecknut
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Photo of BeerBeast
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of mattreitz49
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of GallowsThief
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Beer is back and to the far right when standing in the front. There is a fair selection with alot of the usual selections including the Chimay's, St Bernardus, Westmalle etc. Locals included a good amount of Cigar City. They had Jai Alai and Maduro in 12 oz. Big Sound, Bolita, Guava Grove and even some Zhukov's were there in bombers. Thats a pretty solid selection for any out of towners looking for CC. Terrapin was reprsented and a ton of Sam Smith. All told there is something here for the beer lover.

The food in Whole Foods is always good and this was no exception. Great sandwiches and hot food selections. Salads for those who like them are abundant,

Well worth a stop here if you are in town.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%

The beer is found in the back of the store next to the cheese section. I found that a little odd, because when I was reviewing their selection I kept smelling a nice, sour, aged something or other. But on to the beer.

Not a huge selection but very nice. Could have a better barleywine and DIPA selection, but it is the best I have found in Sarasota. They had some nice Belgian Ales, Lagunitas, Great Divide, and Dogfish Head among others.

The staff was very friendly, and of the two employees to offer their assistance, one of them knew what he was talking about. But he did say that the man to talk beer with was Tom, but unfortunatley he was off when I was there.

The prices were what I acpected for the Sarasota area. All and all worth the trip, and now probably where I will be buying the majority of my beer. I think next time I'll pick up the 1.5 gal. mini keg of Two Hearted. Cheers.

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Photo of DrummerDan
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%

I've purchased a number of things here during the past few months and I've never had a bad beer; hence the 5.0 quality. Service is quite good, the always come help and keep their stock nice and organized. I've noticed that big brews are getting more and more placement but there is still tons of attention to craft beers and speciality items. The selection is great for a small area and especially one in downtown Sarasota. The beers are inexpensive! Lots can be had for about $2.50 a bottle and they will order anything you want . If you don't see what you want ask for Tom.

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Photo of Zeckster
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%

I was in Sarasota and saw the excellent reviews for this place so I thought I would drop in.
The beer section is really small and tucked away in the corner behind the wines, cheese and crackers. However, this is a grocery store, so I didn't expect aisles of beer.
They had some nice finds. Including Bell's Two Hearted Ale in a mini cask, Bell's Hopslam, Trappistes Rochefort 10, Orval Trappist and some stuff from Kiuchi Brewery.
I've seen most of the other things around in Gainesville, but its always nice to find new things.
I feel uncomfortable grading the service because I didn't ask anyone a question. So maybe they know their beers, maybe they don't.

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Photo of jasonm
4/5  rDev -2%

Beer section is in the back corner, pass the wine, cheese, and olive bar. The beer area is contained within a short wall of cooler cases.

Good quality, focusing on the range of good micros available in Florida. Plus there appears to be a conscious effort to bring in some of the higher rated beers with St. Bernadus 12 and Rochefort 10 being available. US micro selection was mostly centered around staple and widely available seasonal offerings. There was Bell's (recent addition to Florida), but no 2 Hearted. I did pick up the Scheider Brooklyner Hopfen Weiss (still not spotted here in Pgh).

There was a special bin for single bottles, but I was told I could break other six packs if I wanted to.

On the whole, the selection was average to slightly above for a Whole Foods location. Keeping in mind that this is a fairly new location so the potential for growth with continued demand for craft beer.

Definitely worth the stop while in Sarasota, especially if you're near the downtown area.

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Photo of rcdjrFF
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%

The selection here is very good. They have some top reviewed beers and other brews from some great brewers. Bells products, Westmalle dubbel and tripel, Rochefort 10, St. Bernardus Abt 12, Duvel, Rouge brews and more.

The service was great. One of the guys stocking the beers offered to pull a couple singles for me and price them on the spot, since not all of their beer is sold that way.

The quality of the brews was pretty much covered in my first paragragh.

Lastly, they periodically have beer tastings and information classes about craft brews right in the beer section of the store.

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Photo of tpd975
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

Stopped by during my vacation at the wife's boss’s beach house on Longboat Key.

I found the beer selection in the back by the cheese. They had a nice selection for a grocery store. Everything there were quality brews.

There was Sam Smith's, Brooklyn, Bell's, Lagunitas, Great Divide, a wide variety of Belgian brews, and my best finds Meantime IPA, and Collaboration which has left the shelves in Florida months ago.

As I browsed a female employee came to inquire if I needed any help. She and the rest of the staff were ultra friendly. I scored me a slice of pizza, and some sandwiches to take back to the beach house with me.

The prices were several dollars a bottle less than I pay at my local beer place in Tampa.

I found a good selection, had some great "whole" foods, and paid less than I do back home.

All in all it was a good trip. After all it’s not too often that I can shop for beer and dinner at the same place.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%

My wife and I stopped by on our Florida mini-beer tour.

Yeah, pretty good selection. Not fantastic, but better than most of the places in Florida. I picked up a Unibroue 14 and 15, as well as a 6er of Brooklyn Brown and Sam Smiths Imperial Stout. Also saw some Bells products.

Quite a few quality beers to choose from, but the quantitative number of choices left a bit to be desired. That's just a matter of shelf space, though. Regardless, it's good to see good beers available in Sarasota, and I wish that I had a Whole Foods in my area!

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Photo of xdant
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%

Whole foods is the best place in Sarasota to buy good beer. Large selection, including the usual suspects plus some singles, larger bottles and a few rare finds (at least for this area), including the special edition St. Bernardus abt 12 that I purchased last week.

Last month they held a "Summer Brews and Music" festival with a decent selection of about 40 good brews to try. Although they couldnt handle the crowd, this was a great event and thats probably a good sign of things to come...

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Photo of Billolick
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

Typical upscale, full sized WFM set up, clean, new, large and well stocked, with all things good, tasty, wholesome and gourmet. The beautiful people of Sarasota were out in full force in this attractive location. Da brew is located in the rear, to the right, back by the cheese section. All brew in one medium sized open cooler. Decent selection of high end and well known Belgians, some German and Brit imports. Picked up some, happy to find ,Great Divide Bombers. I'm not very familiar with many other decent beer depots in the area, but this place made my visit to FL. more fun , so, I'd say it was worth the visit.

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Photo of geetlord
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Whole foods is a large organic grocery in downtown sarasota, the food is a bit expensive, but its beer section is the best that I have seen in town so far. There is a good selection of belgian beer as well as local craft breweries represented. The selection is fairly good, and it is fairly regularly updated to bring in new varieties. The prices here are fairly reasonable, and if you are looking for a special beer, you can tell that beer buyer and he will see if he can order it for you. All teh beers are stored cold, but i found that if you want to get a bottle that has not been put in teh cooler, you can ask someone to get a bottle fromt eh back for you, the were quite helpfull about this.

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Photo of Gritsak
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

after driving around with back mapquest directions i finally found this place. its downtown and parking is on the side for whole foods so dont pay the metered parking like i did.

the selection here is one of the best that ive seen so far in florida. picked up a 6pack of great divide titan IPA which im thoroughly looking forward to drinking. nice selection of belgains also. few singles for sale.

someone asked if i needed help while i was looking, but that prolly because its the first time ive seen more then 5 good beers in a case in awhile i was browsing for quite awhile.

pretty neat place. you can even drink the beer in the cafe on the side.

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Photo of Shaw
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

2010 update: I called the store asking if they carried Cigar City Jai Alai in bottles. The man I spoke with said they didn't yet, but would soon and took my number. It must have been several weeks later, but he called and left a very detailed message on my machine when Jai Alai came in. Awesome customer service!


3/23/06 UPDATE: BeerAdvocate member TripelJ now works at Whole Foods, so buy a beer there and help a brotha!


The opening of Whole Foods was a pretty big deal here in Sarasota. The city gave all kinds of deals to the company to come here. And since the general population is getting richer and richer, Whole Foods is a good fit.

They have all kinds of interesting foods, all at high prices. But you don't care about food, right? F*** dat! How's their beer? Very good. This store has become the best store in Sarasota County to buy beer, now that Blackburn Point Liquors has closed.

They keep their beer in an open cooler, a few cases are room temp. The employee in charge of the beer is a beer geek himself, which is a big positive. I've talked to him and he's very helpful. I only wish I wasn't so bad with names or I'd put his in this review. They've got the best local selection of Belgian ales and other import beers in 750 mL bottles. In fact, they have the best import selection of any beer store in the county.

Their selection of American craft beer is also very good. They have a lot of good West Coast craft brews, and I was pleasantly surprised to find North Coast Old Stock in stock on my last trip. I haven't seen that in Sarasota since the Blackburn Point Liquors days.

And despite Whole Foods high prices on other items, their beer prices are reasonable. Not cheap, but not expensive.

If you're in downtown Sarasota and looking for a store to buy some good beer, head to Whole Foods.

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Whole Foods Market in Sarasota, FL
Place rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 18 ratings
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